INDIANAPOLIS – Rigoberto Sanchez, the corner player, has gone from not knowing his future in the NFL to being a few days away from playing again less than three weeks after a cancerous tumor was removed.
Sanchez will resume handling of deck and shot duties in Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans, coach Frank Reich said Friday.
“Excellent training staff who work with great doctors and guys who are mature,” Reich said. “These three things are important and we are very lucky to have the people we do.”
Sanchez, who declined to say what type of cancer he was dealing with, noticed that something was wrong while he was doing some dry swings before starting practice on November 25th. An ultrasound and an MRI revealed a tumor. Sanchez continued to play, albeit only partially, in the Nov. 29 loss to Tennessee before undergoing surgery on Dec. 1.
“I wasn’t going to do that to my team,” Sanchez said earlier this week. “It’s about the team. At the end of the day, I don’t think he could have received a player in time and it wouldn’t have been worse. This was already the worst case scenario. I was going to fight in pain, whatever it was. “
Sanchez said doctors told him things looked “pretty good” and that “his numbers are definitely lower.” He returned to the unit and trained this week.
“I’m just lucky to move all the time, to use my body in all sorts of ways,” Sanchez said. “It simply came to our notice then [Reich] I mentioned that if I did some kind of office work, I might not have caught him right away. I’m just lucky to be young and able to do what I do and that’s playing football here. I was just lucky enough to catch him in time, and then the doctors took over and I followed her. I’m just grateful they caught him early. “